Robert Wayne Gladden Jr, 15, who pleaded guilty last week to attempted murder in a school shooting attack against another student on the first day of school at Perry Hall High School in August, was sentenced to 35 years in prison Monday, the Baltimore Sun reports.
“Now what we’re doing, we’re penalizing people with mental illness,” WJZ-TV (CBS affiliate) quoted defense attorney George Psoras Jr as saying after the sentencing. “This act was insanity at its finest, stupidity at its best. He’s crying out for heaven’s sake. He wanted to die that day.”
Mr Gladden had brought 21 rounds of ammunition to school that day and has stated he was planning to kill himself after getting off as many rounds as he could. His only victim, 17-year-old Daniel Borowy, has recovered from the single gunshot wound to his back and has returned to school.
Baltimore County Circuit Judge Robert E Cahill Jr handed down a sentence greater than guidelines call for because, he said, there’s a growing national concern about gun violence in schools following the massacre in Newtown, Conn., and because the Perry Hall High School community is still showing signs of recovery. For example, one school administrator told the Sun that some teachers took months to return to school, and about 75 students still avoid the cafeteria, where the shooting occurred, by either eating lunch in the library or not at all.